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    52nd Engineers bring heavy equipment to Black Forest fire


    Photo By Sgt. Robert Holland | U.S. Soldiers operating bulldozers spread flammable debris to prevent fires during the...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Robert Holland 

    3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

    FORT CARSON, Colo. - Soldiers from the 497th Engineer Company, 52nd Engineer Battalion provided assistance to local authorities and responders with the Black Forest fire for three days, starting June 12.

    The company of horizontal construction engineers used their skills and D7 bulldozers, capable of pushing thousands of pounds of dirt, to construct firebreaks and clear the area of ignitable material, said 1st Lt. Thomas Fite, officer in charge of the engineers constructing firebreaks, 497th Engineer Company.

    “We got here and started building firebreaks, trying to stop the fire from pressing north,” Fite said about the first day they arrived.

    The soldiers constantly monitored the weather and fire conditions around them, and adjusted their operations accordingly.

    “As soon as we pushed north, the wind caught us,” Fite said. “The fire got bigger and we had to get out of there.”

    Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Jaques, horizontal construction engineer, 497th Engineer Company, said it is not easy working alongside a wild fire.

    Jaques said that one of the challenges working so close to the fire is it can shift and come toward them unexpectedly.

    According to Jaques, the soldiers tried to combat the speed of the fire by working farther ahead of it, building larger firebreaks and clearing more ignitable debris.

    Jaques said the morale among the soldiers is high, despite long, smoke-filled days fighting the fire.

    “The soldiers are excited to help the community out. They do what they are told at all times, and they are out here motivated, because they are serving their own community,” Jaques said.



    Date Taken: 06.17.2013
    Date Posted: 06.21.2013 17:01
    Story ID: 109078
    Location: FORT CARSON, CO, US 

    Web Views: 170
    Downloads: 1